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UWI Launches Centre for Reparation Research

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#Jamaica, October 13, 2017 – Kingston – The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, officially launched a Centre for Reparation Research on October 10 at the campus.   It is geared towards supporting the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) reparatory justice movement, building awareness and conducting research that will advance the claim to Europeans for reparation for native genocide, African enslavement, deceptive indenture, colonialism and its legacies.   Establishment of the Centre is a mandate of the 34th meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government held in July 2013.

The idea for the Centre emerged out of the need to support the CARICOM/Global Reparatory Justice Movement and to collaborate with other Caribbean universities to establish the facility as a vehicle for research and public advocacy.   Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, and Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, expressed their support for the Centre.

Miss Grange, under whose portfolio responsibility for the reparation agenda falls, congratulated the University on launching this initiative.   She said the launch of the Centre is fulfilling an obligation to “our ancestors and the people of the Caribbean”.

“It is about rekindling old fires and igniting new ones as we take on the struggle to right the wrongs of the past, to return prosperity where there was oppression and destitution, to restore dignity and integrity where others brought shame and devaluation,” the Minister argued.

“We [Government] established the National Council on Reparation in 2007, after a very rigorous debate in Parliament, based on a motion put forward by Mike Henry.   It was done during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic trade in Africans, so we put in place then a series of activities aimed at public consultation, investigation of various formats for reparation, and, most significantly, the initiation of a dialogue among ourselves on the way forward,” she added.

The Minister said much has been achieved since then, and she is seeing signs that “we are not keeping this movement at the levels of just talk or even of our generation, but that we are keen to ensure that it moves on to the next generation”.

Minister Henry, who represented Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said he is pleased to witness the Centre being opened, as the topic of reparation is one about which he is very passionate.

“The issue of reparation for slavery and native genocide is a core and centre of my being.   The public knows of many [of my] presentations to Parliament,” he said.

“I was pleased when CARICOM Heads in 2013, at the 34th meeting, placed reparation on the regional agenda.   Reparation is an issue I have embraced over the years, and I have recorded in my book, ‘Many Rivers to Cross’, all the presentations that I’ve made in Parliament over the years,” the Minister added.   Mr. Henry said he is looking forward to seeing positive results from the launch of the Centre.

“We welcome the action by the region’s stellar institution, the University of the West Indies, in establishing this important centre, which will have some very serious mandates.   The Centre must now deepen the analysis of the social and economic issues… we grapple with in the Caribbean and provide the relevant arguments that trace them back to slavery and colonial oppression. We look forward to the work of the Centre, because the broader number of people need to know,” he emphasised.

Vice-Chancellor, UWI and Chair, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparation Commission, Professor Hilary Beckles, said it is fitting for the launch to take place on October 10, as two days following the event, the world would recognise the 525th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean.

 

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Bob Marley – One Love Actor Endorses Black River Film Festival

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#MontegoBay, May 27, 2024 – The inaugural staging of the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), set for June 28 to 30, is being welcomed by local actor, Cornelius Orlando Grant, who sees the potential of the event in unearthing local talent and attracting investment from the international film industry.

Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank held at the agency’s Montego Bay Regional Office, Mr. Grant, who stars as gangster Bucky Marshall in the Bob Marley – One Love biopic, said the BRFF could leverage the interest and attention being generated towards Jamaica and its film industry following the premiere of the movie.

“Look at it this way, the Prince (Harry) came to the premiere and his presence attracted extra attention to [the film industry]. The Bob Marley movie is creating and breaking more records… . Just recently it opened in Japan [where]… reggae music and Bob Marley have a big fan base. Furthermore, people in the [diaspora] that I spoke to are saying that when they view the movie, it brought them vibes of home,” he noted.

Mr. Grant said that with Jamaica being positioned as the hub of the Caribbean film industry and with the increasing number of young persons emerging as content creators, “I think now is the time that we can capitalise on this. The Black River Film Festival is doing just that because it is not only incorporating new content creators but also showing students new career possibilities”.

Young content creators, 14 to 18 years old, who wish to enter or are already practitioners in the field of filmmaking will benefit from masterclass sessions during the Festival.

Mr. Grant will be among the speakers during these sessions.

The Ministry of Education, Region 5 will be partnering with the Festival producers at a workshop to be held at St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz on June 28.

 

Photo Caption: Jamaican actor, Cornelus Orlando Grant, gives his support to the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), while addressing a recent Think Tank at the Jamaica Information Service Montego Bay Regional Office in St. James.

Okoye Henry Photo

 

Contact: Sharon Earle

Release: JIS

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NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETARIAT INFORMATION NOTE ISSUED MAY 17, 2024

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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CTO to Focus on Aviation at Caribbean Week in New York

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New York (May 16, 2024) – Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is set to spotlight the future of Caribbean aviation during Caribbean Week in New York, scheduled for June 16-21, 2024, at the InterContinental Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

Under CTO’s annual theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, the week promises a diverse lineup of activities emphasizing innovation and connectivity.

A key feature of the premier event for travel industry professionals, journalists and members of the Caribbean Diaspora will be the Caribbean Airlift Forum.

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week, will moderate the forum. She emphasized the importance of this session as a critical platform for discussing the challenges and opportunities in Caribbean air transportation.

The session will cover topics including route development, aviation competitiveness, partnerships, infrastructure investment, regulatory frameworks, and market demand strategies. It aims to foster dialogue among airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and aviation ministries, enhancing connectivity and optimizing access to Caribbean destinations.

“In the wake of the pandemic, Caribbean aviation has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, rebounding strongly in key areas. However, as we celebrate these gains during our Caribbean Week in New York, it’s crucial that we don’t become complacent,” stated Harris.

“We must continue to innovate and address the persistent challenges within intra-regional tourism, which, while recovering, remains a challenge for many of our destinations,” she continued. “Our focus at the Caribbean Airlift Forum is not only on celebrating our successes but also on critically analyzing our challenges to strengthen and diversify our connections to, from and across the region, ensuring a more robust and connected Caribbean.”

The week also features a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium, the Caribbean Media Awards, and sessions focused on artificial intelligence, crisis communications, and multicultural marketing.

With the support of headline sponsor, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation; gold sponsors Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; and Diamonds International and the Caribbean Media Exchange, Caribbean Week in New York 2024 is poised to be a pivotal meeting for tourism professionals and stakeholders in the region and the Diaspora.

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